Yantouch Jellyfish Lamp

It’s been a while since I posted about cool lamps, hasn’t it…

My wife sent me this lamp actually, from a colleague of hers at RD2 – meet the Yantouch Jellyfish:

This lamp seems to be mainly an ambiance lamp – a color changing LED source illuminates the inside, and the rear of the fixture has one “tentacle thing” that keeps the lamp tilted up.  You can either have the top of the lamp on, the underside of the lamp on, or both together from what I have read about the lamp.  The user can choose the color  saturation and intensity, have a random speed random color roll, or just have it sit pretty on the table.  In a way, it reminds me of Willem van der Sluis‘ design for the Philips Living Color lamp.

The Yantouch Jellyfish is the brainchild of Hsiao-pin Lin and Ken Ouyang.  Interesting piece!

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You have to check out the Yantouch Jellyfish website too – they have a color picker interface that shows some light emanating from the rear of the lamp:

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Thanks Robbie and TechnaBob!

JimOnLight.com’s Guide to Christmas Lights, Part 4: Christmas Light Power and Safety

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Part Four:
Christmas Lights Power and Safety

So now that you have learned about the history of christmas lights, learned about different christmas lamp types and different form factors, there’s two things that we’ve not considered: power (electricity) and control of the christmas light display.

These two things are usually taken for granted, which is understandable to a point – you plug them into an outlet, and they either turn on or blink, right?  Well, I guess. I, however, am an overachieving geeky nerd that enjoys making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to the simplest technological tasks.

Did I just use “mountain out of a molehill?” Oh yeah, you better believe it.

This guide will deal with providing power to your christmas light display. However, there is the need for a small disclaimer regarding this topic, since it is potentially deadly and/or property damaging. So, that being said – if you electrocute yourself when you’re hanging your christmas lights, it’s not my fault regardless of whether you read this guide or not. Caveat Emptor, it ain’t my fault if you blow your house up, all that stuff.

Okay, now that the BS legal part of this is over, there are a couple of really, really important things you should heed warning to when you’re preparing to load-in your christmas lights:

  • Electricity can and will travel through you to get to its home, which is the ground. It won’t be good for you.
  • If you discover a loose wire when you’re hanging all of your christmas lights, do not touch the bare wires. Also, refrain from licking them or rubbing them on your neck. All of these are bad ideas.
  • Don’t use staples to hang your lights unless you have a guide for whatever stapler that you’re using that specifically shields the cable from the staples. Stapling into a strand of christmas lights will most likely short them out, creating a dangerous situation and more than likely a pain in your derriere.
  • An easy one to remember: water and christmas lights equals non-fun. There are outdoor rated christmas lights; if you’re putting them outdoors, make sure they have the UL rating and make sure they’re listed as water-proof lighting.
  • Last but not least, when you’re putting up christmas lghts, unless you live somewhere that has 60+ degree temperatures outside, it’s probably gonna be cold out. Hypothermia sucks, my friends. Bundle up, and make sure to take enough breaks when you’re out there christmas lighting your place up!

So, for those of you who do not know the ways to power your christmas lights or really anything about electricity at all, it’s pretty simple when you tear it down to the basic components – the christmas lights plug in to some place either in or around your house that is hooked up to the house’s power, and voila – the christmas lights turn on, you and your family go “wow,” and you go back inside to have some cocoa.

In a sense, that’s the bare bones sense of it. However, there are so many more things to consider – what happens when your lights burn out, for example?  What happens if you plug too many christmas light strands together? These things are all items that you’ll be better for when you learn the answers.  As far as wiring, there are typically two different ways that you’ll find your lights wired – series circuits and parallel circuits. Look at this diagram of a series christmas light circuit:

series-circuit-jimonlight

Series circuits are really easy to spot – they’re the strands that all go out when one lamp in the string is either blown or not seated properly in its base. The reason that this happens is that the connections into each christmas lamp are in a series – get it?  Electricity must pass through each lamp in order for the next to get energized. They’re all dependent on each other for the flow of electrons. In a series circuit of christmas lights, each lamp’s filament is the circuit bridge – so when one lamp goes out, all of the lamps might as well have gone out because there is no way for electricity to get across the one broken filament to power the rest of the lamps. See the issue?

In modern christmas light strands, something called a shunt is added to each lamp to overcome the failure of the lamp’s filament for the rest of the lamps. If the filament fails, instead of losing the entire strand of lamps, the shunt keeps the electricity flowing through the dead lamp below the broken filament. I have no idea how I did it, but I got a close-up of a shunt in a mini-size christmas lamp. Keep in mind this lamp is about the size of a pencil eraser:

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Pretty neat, huh?

You might also notice that some strands of christmas lights come with two or three really tiny fuses, like these:

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You’ll also probably notice that the fuses go into the female end of the strand, like here:

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These fuses are typically 3 amps on a 50-light strand. This is going to become important in the next guide post.

The other way that christmas lights are typically wired is called parallel wiring. Parallel wiring beats the problem of having all lamps out when one lamp goes out by making a common electrical point for all lamps. Check out this diagram:

parallel-circuit-jimonlight

You all probably know about parallel circuits, so I assume this is a moot point – but as you can see from the diagram, the electricity would flow even if one of the lamps were to go out. Since there is a continuous connection across ALL lamps on the hot and the common lines, there is no way that one lamp would make all of them go out.

Another excellent thing about parallel circuits is the amount of lamps you can put in the chain. Unlike series circuits which require the voltage of all lamps in the string to add up to your total supplied voltage, parallel strings only require that the actual wire handle the amount of electricity (current) going through. In a series set of 50, for example, all of the lamps must be 2.5 volts so that the total voltage across all lamps adds up to 120 volts.

Wait a minute, you might ask yourself – 50 x 2.5 doesn’t equal 120! 48 x 2.5 equals 120. You are right to question that equation – 50 is more of a round number than 48, and adding the two extra lamps in the series lowers the brightness so imperceptibly that we can’t tell the difference. Also, 50 is more than 48, and you’re inclined to buy two more lamps. That’s our nature!

Let’s just quickly recap:

  • keep warm when you’re out there hanging those christmas lights!
  • don’t lick exposed christmas light wire
  • electricity will kill you dead, so pay attention
  • water and electricity like each other as much as Dick Cheney and the ACLU

Next up on JimOnLight.com – Part Five: Christmas Light Math!

Stay tuned!

Daniel Becker’s Outdoor Light Fixture/Sculpture/Light Tinkertoys

Does anyone remember Daniel Becker from about this time last year?  Daniel invented a luminaire called the Tee-Licht, a sphere made from votive candle lights wired with small incandescent lamps.  Quite interesting, actually!

Daniel’s studio is back at it with a foray into outdoor lighting, but nowhere near the norm.  Daniel’s new fixture, “Sparks,” is a modular LED system of connecting pieces that join to create a very molecular form – artistic, mechanical, and technical.  From Daniel’s website on the Sparks system:

Sparks is an outdoor lighting system which consists of several similar modules which can be arranged in various configurations to form a three-dimensional structure. The lighting elements are based on low-energy led modules, all pieces are connected by simple screw-type joints which don’t need any technical expertise. Its intended use is to bring atmospherical light and create a defined room within a previously undefined large area, square, garden or the like.

Check out these images – it looks pretty interesting!

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Rock Yourself Some Light – The Murakami Rocking Chair

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I am 31 – but I love rocking chairs.  That’s not to insinuate that only old people rock, don’t get me wrong.  When I was a kid, my parents had one of those old, heavy, thick rocking chairs that you could literally rock yourself to sleep in, and the slight reclining shape of the chair makes life that much more sweet.  Rochus Jacob has produced a design for a rocking chair that not only lets you rock comfortably, but also allows you generate energy with your rocking motion that is then released via the integrated lighting fixture above the chair.  It’s called the Murakami Rocking Chair.

The light fixture mounted on the chair is a reading lamp of sorts, made out of an OLED source.  The dynamic energy generation technology is built into the skids of the chair, along with a battery pack that collects the energy when you’re rocking in the daylight.

Sweet.

The designer recently had this to say about the design:

I was looking for opportunities to generate energy through activities we naturally do. The final result is a rocking chair that enables the user to experience production and consumption of electricity in a gentle and rewarding way. An abstract process becomes tangible and eventually cultivates natural awareness. Complexity is covered by simplicity. Advanced nano-dynamo technology which is built in to the skids of the chair and more efficient light sources such as the newly developed OLED generation makes it possible to build a rocking chair with a reading lamp running on electricity generated from the rocking motion. During daylight the energy gets stored in a battery pack. The construction of the flat and bendable organic light emitting diodes allows new form factors such as using the traditional shape of a lamp but instead of having a light bulb the lampshade himself turns out to be the light source. To have a drastic reduction of consumption the big challenge will be to make consuming less feel like getting more.

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Thanks to HomeTone, Designboom, and No. 18htn!

Roll An Extension Cable into A Lamp: Creighton Berman’s Coil Lamp

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Creighton Berman’s Coil Lamp is a new release from the designer – imagine a small two-piece rig of clear acrylic material that you wrap an extension cable around, creating a luminaire reminiscent of a shade lamp.  Slap a lamp in the middle, and there you go.  Done.  From Creighton’s product page on the Coil Lamp:

Coil Lamp reduces the domestic lamp to the absolute minimum of defining elements. A single electrical cord coils around what appears to be an empty volume, defining the iconic form of a table lamp and ultimately powering a single light bulb.

The entire form is created exclusively from a single 100 foot extension cord that has been wrapped around a laser-cut clear plexiglass form. This simple transformation elevates the status of the humble, everyday extension cord to the realm of high design.

Originally created for “Deceptive Design”, an exhibition of conceptual furniture shown at the Chicago Cultural Center from October 2008 – January 2009.

For $150, you can get a hand-coiled version of this fixture, or for $75 you can roll your own, per se.  Just be forewarned, you have to provide your own 100′ extension cable (that’s 30.48 meters for all you metric readers).

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Thanks, TechnaBob!

The Nirvana LED Bathtub – Yes, A Bathtub With LEDs.

So, sometimes there are things that get marketed to people with lots and lots and lots of money.  There are also times when companies develop things that are only achievable by people of a very high income bracket.  This specific time might be both of those times together.  To be fair, there isn’t a price listed on the website, but my spidey-sense tells me that it’s probably not $250 dollars.

Meet the Nirvana LED Bathtub – a completely touch-controlled LED bathtub with 360 LEDs embedded into the surface:

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See that display in the lower right corner?  It’s upside down in that picture, but it’s an onboard readout of the temperature of the water – which can be changed with your hand motions.  A tub that boasts chromatherapy, digital readouts, complete control, and automatic-ness.  What else do you need, I guess?  I wonder how much this thing is going to retail for when it hits the market?  Like anything else that’s expensive, once you buy it, attractive women will flock to your bathroom.

Oh yeah, and this tub won a Red Dot award.

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Here’s one of the company’s other models – LEDs in a different configuration:

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Thanks, Born Rich!

The Light of Ligature

This might be the most morbid post I have ever written here on JimOnLight.com – although it’s probably best that I write about it now, because the winters here in Sweden (from what everyone here keeps poking at us people from warmer climates) are destined to get fairly depressing.  However, let’s make light out of this (BWAHAHA) so that we can all laugh at how people have illuminated (pffffHAHA) the subject of hanging and death.

I found this initial fixture while doing some searching on something completely unrelated – Ana-Maria Pasescu Stewart‘s Noose Light.  It’s even got some pulleys integrated so that the user can vary the height of the illumination – which certainly isn’t creepy at all:

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Nah, this is completely normal.  Do you think it’s based on the Official Table of Drops?

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After discovering that gem of happiness, I discovered a fixture designed by designer Ji-youn Kim from South Korea.  It certainly makes a comment on how you can be dead and also give light to life – or something poetic and deep like that:

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Oh hey look – using an LED source makes the lamp on the right so much more..  who am I kidding, death is depressing.

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In a final burst of uplifting lighting products, check out the MintPass Mint Light #5 – One Light to Live.  If this doesn’t say “I am going to ruin the holidays for everyone but me, and it won’t matter because I’ll have hung myself,” then nothing will:

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Okay, there is nothing funny about suicide.  Ever.  If you have ever lost a friend to suicide, it’s hard to place the reasons and depths of pain that the person must have been feeling.  I love you, and everyone here at JimOnLight.com loves you too!  If you’re feeling dark and confused and considering something like suicide, first take a breath.  Stop what you’re doing.  Call the folks at 800-SUICIDE to talk with someone who would love to show you how important you actually are in this world.

And now, Vice President Gracie and Supreme Court Justice Dewey Squeakmotor would like to show you how much life rules!

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…and if you still need convincing, you can do anything at ZOMBOCOM!

Thanks to Artistic Things and Yatzer!

Alienology’s Bloom Lamp

Design studio Alienology has produced a series of laser-cut lighting fixtures, which includes one model called the Bloom Lamp.  With its shade assembled from several laser cut fins, the Bloom Lamp has an interesting and unique form.  From the Alienology website:

Introducing the Bloom Lamp by Alienology!

Bloom Lamp’s intriguing form is a result of exploration in using modern manufacturing method (laser-cutting) and attempting to minimize the material waste by optimizing the design pattern.

Lamp is designed to fit on single sheet of P3 sized (790mm x 384mm) material. Individual parts create interlocking pattern on a flat sheet, so that there is minimum material waste.
This version of the lamp is made out of Eurolite plywood and it can be assembled in about 10 – 15 minutes. Ships flatpack.

This lamp is meant to be “swag style” hanging lamp, perfect for mounting in a living room corner. On request, it is also available with different hardware supplied (porcelain candelabra bulb socket with 53” adjustable cord), so it can be mounted in already existing ceiling power hookup (chandelier style).

Bloom Table Lamp comes with:
– all wood parts needed to assemble the lamp in about 10 – 15 minutes (+ two extra shading ribs, just in case, you know…)

- 40W spiral energy efficient light bulb
– socket and 15’white cord with switch and plug
– two ceilining hooks to thread lamp cord to the plug outlet
Size: Height 24cm x diameter 28cm (9.5” x 11”)

Note: Only plywood lamps available at this time. Acrylic versions coming up soon.

The Bloom Lamp is pretty cool! There are plywood and acrylic versions of the lamp, but as of right now, only the plywood version is available.

Check out some images:

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A Bed Full of Light

Ever think to yourself – “self, it would be so great if I could wake up to a custom color glowing all around me.”

Meet the Poesy Luminotherapy Bed:

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The Poesy Luminotherapy Bed is one of those “well, where on Earth did you come up with that?” designs from French designer Philippe Boulet to combat the lack of such a bed.  Poesy has an integrated color mixing LED system with a remote controller system, and you can apparently mix custom colors.  You can set to wake up or go to sleep with any color of your choice, and from what I’ve been reading, control the intensity.  I wonder if I can program an RGB slow sine chase on this thing?

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Thanks, Freshome!

Thien Nguyen’s Flexy Light

Thien Nguyen, a designer out of UQAM in Montreal, has created the Flexy Light – a fixture that uses folded heavy paper as the shade/diffuser source.  The packaging itself uses a little waste (the label band that runs along the outside), but once that is removed, the shade can be spread open into whatever configuration you’d like to attempt.  The shade itself is just folded, I can’t stress that enough – no inner structure to hold it open, just the strength of the complex folding of the paper material.

An interesting design!  Thien won an award this year for this design – the Young Package Design 2009 Contest in the Czech Republic.  Congratulations, Thien!

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Thanks, DesignBoom!